Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) said that gay activists “embarrassed their cause” by protesting the Providence, Rhode Island stop of the bigotry bus tour Summer for Marriage Bus Tour.
It is moments like this where I realize how fundamentally different our views truly are. And I am interested in how NOM thinks the LGBT community should respond to their actions. Brown says that “That’s not how a civil rights movement behaves.”
First, thank you for admitting that we are a civil rights movement – many anti-gay activists will not use that framing because it demonstrates that we are seeking rights that we deserve. Second, the question makes me wonder how a civil rights movement is supposed to behave?
When a group of people decides to pump all of their time and money into driving around the country with the sole purpose of telling people that you should be excluded from a basic civil right, please tell me what the polite way to respond is?
NOM complains that “gay activists went crazy” and that “the hatred was palpable.” I admit that I personally don’t think that crashing the bus tour and interrupting speeches is strategically sound, and while it may be cathartic for those involved, I don’t think it does anything to change a voter’s hearts and minds. That said, I completely understand the inclination. When there is a bully behind a microphone telling a group of people that you personally should not be allowed to have what they have, how can you not get angry? How can you not want to fight back and take away the microphone? I wonder if NOM can possibly understand how we would be angry and offended by their mere existence.
I don’t think they do – because no matter how much I try to understand their perspective and no matter how much I try to understand why the legal commitment I made to spend the rest of my life with the person I love is so threatening to them, I just cannot figure it out.
Photo credit: 1 Flat World